Even in a world that is nowhere near running short of literary output, not many authors can boast of a debut novel that made it to the shortlist of the ManBooker Prize. Even fewer have been shortlisted twice. As such, when An Orchestra of Minorities was shortlisted for the prestigious prize, Chigozie Obioma made it two out of two – proving to his detractors, though perhaps not intentionally, that he is indeed ‘the heir to Chinua Achebe‘.
Some days before the announcement, Chigozie met up with Alessandra to talk about both his books (The Fishermen and An Orchestra of Minorities), the contexts within which they were written, and the importance of language and culture in the stories that he tells.
Though he admits that he would be a much more recognised author if he wrote stories that were centred in the west, Chigozie has opted to remain focused on the task at hand – to create African-centred narratives with Igbo history and culture at the heart of his plots.
This interview is made up of 8 short segments, all of which have been uploaded. So don’t forget to visit the channel for the remaining interview segments.
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